BLM Seeks Input on Bighorn Basin Resource Management Plan
Written by Andrew-Rossi on April 13, 2022
The B.L.M. is reevaluating its long-term assessment of the Bighorn Basin and asks the public for their opinions on managing the region’s bountiful resources.
The Bureau of Land Management Cody and Worland field offices seek input as they evaluate the 2015 Bighorn Basin Resource Management Plan (R.M.P.). It’s the first time the plan has been reevaluated since that time.
Every possible resource in the Bighorn Basin is addressed in the R.M.P. The broad spectrum includes soils, water, vegetation, and minerals & fossils to more abstract concepts like travel & transportation, visual resources, and fire management.
The planning areas include public lands within Hot Springs, Big Horn, Park, and Washakie counties. That total area encompasses 3.2 million acres of surface estate and 4.2 million acres of federal mineral estate.
The public is invited to submit comments on the B.L.M.’s draft evaluation report of the Bighorn Basin Resource Management Plan.
The report assesses the existing Bighorn Basin R.M.P. to determine whether current mitigation measures are satisfactory. It also considers significant changes in the related plans of federal agencies, state or local governments, or American Indian tribes, or whether there is new data significance to the plan.
The comment period for the R.M.P. report runs from April 12 through May 11, 2022.
The B.L.M. must regularly monitor and evaluate the decisions, supporting analysis, and implementation of existing, approved R.M.P.s.
However, this public evaluation is not intended to initiate any changes to the plan. Those changes can be maintenance actions, amendments or revisions, or additional inventory of public lands or resources in the planning area.
In particular, any decisions and provisions involving greater sage grouse are not being addressed as part of the R.M.P. reevaluation because of ongoing litigation. Recent federal lawsuits have reexamined the protection of sage grouse throughout Wyoming and the western states.
Readers can access the draft evaluation report and the Bighorn Basin RMP and submit comments by visiting the B.L.M. ePlanning website for the plan.